Biomedical Sciences ETDs


Laura Dickson

Publication Date



Human adenoviruses (HAdV) are major causative agents of acute respiratory disease (ARD) worldwide. Military recruits and children are two of the populations most susceptible to HAdV infection in the United States. Infections by species B serotypes, including HAdV-3 and HAdV-7, are often associated with some of the most severe clinical manifestations of respiratory disease. In 1996, the production of the HAdV vaccine that was administered to US military recruits was discontinued. Since then, HAdV-associated ARD has reemerged in military training facilities nationwide compromising readiness and deployability of troops and causing significant financial burden to the Department of Defense (DoD). The HAdV vaccination protocol will be reassumed in 2010 with a formulation identical to that used as the original 1971 vaccine. For this study, we analyzed HAdV isolates from both military and civilian cases of respiratory disease to identify the most prevalent HAdV-3 and HAdV-7 genome types circulating in the last decade. Our goal was to determine if these genome types may challenge vaccine efficacy and decide if there are possible common targets for intervention in the civilian population. We identified eleven HAdV-3 and six HAdV-7 genome types in circulation in military training camps and civilian communities, which include HAdV-3a, HAdV-3a2, HAdV-3a17, HAdV-3aBclI variant, HAdV-3aBstEII variant, HAdV-3aBglII variant 1, HAdV-3aBglII variant 2, HAdV-3aBglII variant 3, HAdV-3aBclI2BstEII variant, HAdV-3BamHI variant and HAdV3BamHIBglII variant, HAdV-7p, HAdV-7b, HAdV-7d, HAdV-7d2, HAdV-7h and HAdV-7BamHI variant. Of the seventeen genome types identified, nine have not previously been described. Sequence data for the hexon and fiber genes revealed minor differences between the HAdV-7 genome types identified in the study and the vaccine strain, HAdV-7a3. Although some have suggested a cross-protection against HAdV-3 genome types, their implications on vaccine efficacy remain unclear. What is clear is the large prevalence of HAdV-3 which circulates in civilians. Continued surveillance in both populations is needed to identify the role that HAdV-3 genome types play in the etiology of ARD after the vaccine is reinstated in military recruits.


Adenovirus, Epidemiology

Document Type




Degree Name

Biomedical Sciences

Level of Degree


Department Name

Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

First Committee Member (Chair)

Ozbun, Michelle

Second Committee Member

Wheeler, Cosette